Posted November 2018
Belgium – NGOs say Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle among worst plastic polluters
As the EU lurches towards a ban on plastic drinking straws, anti-pollution campaigners are advocating more far-reaching measures. In October 2018, the umbrella NGO Break Free from Plastic, consisting of about 1,300 groups, including Greenpeace, released a global audit, which identifies Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle as being among a handful of businesses that are contributing most to ocean pollution.
The audit was conducted by NGOs, whose members took it upon themselves to comb beaches and sift through nearly 200,000 pieces of plastic found there. Incidentally, it was soft drink bottles, which were most frequent found by volunteers who conducted clean-up operations from the UK to Vietnam. Of all the brands identified, the teams found that Coca-Cola was the top polluter, with Coke-branded plastic found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. In Europe alone, Coke, Pepsi and Nestle bottles contributed nearly half of this “brand audit” of plastic. Read on
United Kingdom – BrewDog launches craft beer airline
Is BrewDog aiming to become the next Virgin group – the conglomerate that flogs everything from drinks to flowers and airline tickets? As of 2019, BrewDog will be taking to the skies with the launch of its own airline. In fact, the Scottish brewer has only announced a single round trip from London Stanstead to Columbus, Ohio, and only shareholders in BrewDog (they are called Equity Punks) are eligible to buy a ticket.
As BrewDog says in a post (25 October 2018), they have chartered a Boeing 767 that will run its maiden flight on 21 February 2019. The jet will cruise from London to Columbus, giving their Equity Punk passengers a chance to see their US brewery and get “the mother and father of all exclusive tours”.Read on
Belgium – Emerging markets woes: AB-InBev halves its interim dividend
Emerging markets have always spelt “volatility”. There have been ups and downs. This year quite a few emerging markets have stumbled and AB-InBev is bearing the brunt. As was expected by many analysts, AB-InBev felt compelled to cut its dividend on 25 October 2018, as it reported weaker profits and lower volumes in several of its key markets in the third quarter 2018.
The Belgian company halved its dividend, saying its focus was now on paying down debt which still stands at over USD 100 billion, following its pricey takeover of SABMiller in 2015.Read on
Belgium – AB-InBev’s Belgian owners diversify their portfolios
Are we “past beer”? Some investors clearly think that in the brewing industry heady deals are a thing of the past, and seek to put their money elsewhere. Having done nicely out of AB-InBev’s generous dividend pay-outs, two Belgian shareholders of AB-InBev, the families de Spoelberch and de Mévius, have taken to investing their spoils into other industries.
Their investment vehicle, Verlinvest, holds stakes in several dozen companies, many of them belonging to the food and beverage sector, Dutch media report. But Verlinvest also owns stakes in technology and e-commerce firms, both in Europe and in Asia. Since last year it is one of the shareholders in the learning app, Byju’s, an Indian “unicorn” (that is a tech company with a value of more than USD 1 billion).Read on
USA – Constellation Brands to sell off some of its wine brands?
Constellation Brands, the number three brewer in the US, may be looking to offload some of its wine brands for over USD 3 billion, according to industry rumour. While still speculation at this point, such a move would not be surprising, but radical nonetheless. Constellation’s origins are in wine. It was founded as a wine company after World War II. Today it is stock market-listed, yet it continues to be controlled by the Sands family.
Constellation’s review of its wine portfolio underlines the company’s gradual shift to beer and cannabis products that target younger consumers. From its humble beginnings, Constellation has grown to be worth more than USD 40 billion thanks to offering imported Mexican beers (Modelo) and a host of US craft beers. Read on
Germany – Warsteiner Brewery loses Managing Director after only one year
Warsteiner’s revolving doors keep on turning. After only 12 months on the job, Warsteiner’s Managing Director, Alessandra Cama, 51, handed in her resignation and will vacate her post in January 2019. She will be succeeded by Warsteiner’s CFO Christian Gieselmann, 47, who joined the brewer as recently as April this year. His predecessor on the job had lasted for less than a year. Warsteiner is now looking for a new CFO.
Warsteiner Brewery said that Ms Cama’s departure had been planned for a long time. She was to leave as soon as Warsteiner’s major restructuring programme was completed. Funnily, no one in Germany’s chatty brewing industry had been aware of this. Read on